Iowa field hockey takes down California

The No. 7 Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Bears 4-2 at Grant Field.

Iowa+midfielder+Nikki+Freeman+runs+down+the+ball+during+a+field+hockey+match+between+Iowa+and+California+on+Friday%2C+September+13%2C+2019.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Bears%2C+4-2.
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Iowa field hockey takes down California

Iowa midfielder Nikki Freeman runs down the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and California on Friday, September 13, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears, 4-2.

Iowa midfielder Nikki Freeman runs down the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and California on Friday, September 13, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears, 4-2.

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa midfielder Nikki Freeman runs down the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and California on Friday, September 13, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears, 4-2.

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa midfielder Nikki Freeman runs down the ball during a field hockey match between Iowa and California on Friday, September 13, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bears, 4-2.

Jahlynn Hancock, Sports Reporter

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Iowa field hockey continued its season at home on Friday, facing off against California. The Hawkeyes pulled through with a 4-2 win at Grant Field.

Katie Birch scored Iowa’s first goal of the game in the 28th minute off a pass from by freshman Esme Gibson.

California managed to tie the score 1-1 in the final seconds of the first half. The Golden Bears took the lead with a goal in the 34th minute, but it would be all Iowa from there.

The Hawkeyes rattled off three unanswered goals after California took the 2-1 lead. Birch found the net for another score, while Nikki Freeman and Sophie Sunderland also joined in on the scoring.

Off Birch’s two goal against the Golden Bears one was a tipped shot off a defender, and one was off a fake shot pass, assisted by Esme Gibson and Ellie Holley. In addition, the Hawkeyes had a deflected pass goal by Nikki Freeman and an unassisted goal by Sophie Sunderland.

Birch is leading the team in season assists with 5 assists, while also demonstrating leadership out on the field.

“I do my part for team,” Birch said. “Even if that means having to set someone else up, that’s what I am going to do.”

Alongside the four goals made by the Hawkeyes, the Golden Bears’ goals came on a shot deflection and a penalty goal.

“California is definitely a great team and they thrive for the counter attacks,” Iowa head coach Lisa Cellucci said. “We had to outwork them on defense, keep moving and work together as a team.”

The Hawkeyes have a day to prepare mentally and physically for their second game of the weekend, this one against No.2 Duke.

“Duke has an outstanding program,” said Cellucci. “They are number two in the country. We have to be able to play our game, and if we keep possession, we’re going to have opportunities to attack them.”

The Hawkeyes are scheduled to play No. 2 Duke on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Grant Field. Duke is undefeated this season, with wins against No. 9 Penn State and No. 2 Maryland. The Blue Devils currently lead the series 5-2, with the last victory for the Hawkeyes coming in 2007.

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